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I'm not sure if it was a full-blown panic attack, but I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.
That feeling that you just lost something that you can never get back.
I've had the feeling a few times in my life.
Recently, we had a fire and I lost some items. . .and it is the second fire where we have lost things. Not our home, but places where we had things stored. Sad. They are gone. Forever. The end.
I have also lost a lot of my good jewelry. We believe it was just a series of unfortunate mistakes. I looked and looked, but it was gone. I had that feeling for days and weeks after I realized I wasn't going to find the jewelry. Ever. And I still have it whenever I think about that jewelry.
And now I have had it over some photos I thought I lost.
Now, this is all just stuff. . .I realize that. . .but it isn't the monetary value that gets to me. . .its the sentimental value.
I had recently uploaded all of my pictures from my camera from February. . some from January. . .and these first weeks of March.
Not a huge loss in the scheme of pictures.
But, these would have been a lot of firsts for Hadley caught on film.
First Valentine's Day was the first thing that jumped to my mind.
So, said panic attack ensued.
I searched my two external hard drives that I back up to over and over.
I searched again.
The feeling got worse and worse.
I kept telling myself it's not like you lost her Birth Day photos. . .or your wedding photos. . . it's just a few weeks of photos and there are still photos from that time frame your phone.
I couldn't help it. I was feeling awful.
Then I checked my photo organizer again. . . which is the program that I upload the photos with. . .and I started clicking around. . .and to make an already long story short. . .I found them. They had been uploaded to a different spot. . . for some odd reason.
But that made me realize once again how important photo backup/storage is.
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Even though I do back up my photos and I do know how important it is. . .I can't imagine the panic attack I would have if I lost everything.
My experience with loss of items is more than I would like it to be. . .
SO. . .I am pledging to myself to do a much better job at backing up my photos. . .
And I ask you to please do the same.
Ask yourself. . .how would you feel if something happened to your computer? Or the one hard drive you are backing up to?
Let me just share with you what my system is for organizing/storing my photos and how I plan on making it better. Some of it is overkill. . .I know. But I would rather be over prepared rather than under. . .if something should happen.
1. My plan is to try and set up a schedule for downloading my photos to my computer.
Now. . . I do it whenever.
Maybe my card is full.
Or maybe I just decided today was the day.
I would like to say every Monday evening I will clear off my
camera cards and phone.
Or the 5th of every month I will do it.
Whatever. Consistency is the key.
Picking a date and doing it.
2. I upload my photos to my computer/external hard drive using an external card reader or I plug my phone into the computer.
I use PhotoShop CS5 to organize/edit my photos. I also recently purchased Lightroom and I hear this is an excellent way to organize/edit your photos as well. I hope to start learning its ropes soon.
3. I have it set up where as you upload, they organize themselves by date. So each date has its own folder.
4. I send them directly to my external hard drive, because my computer doesn't have the capacity to hold even a fraction of the photos I take. I am still in the process of deleting photos from my computer to free up space. Old computer but I still love it!
5. I have one main hard drive. It has all of my photos stored on it. It is what I back up to.
6. I have two other hard drives. They are smaller in their storage. . .one is already full. . .so I have them split up.
The first one is 2003-2008 and the other is 2009-present.
7. And here is what my hard drives look like
I have a folder for each year
etc. . .
In each year folder, I have a folder for each month.
I number the months, because the hard drive will organize them alphabetically. . . I want them organized in the correct month order. . .so the numbers work.
In each month, there is a folder for each day I took pictures.
I LOVE that.
I do go back and add more details to these folders names sometimes.
Like. . . Brady7thbday or ridingbike or whatever we are doing in them.
Sometimes, I will add another folder with the months folder. . .
13. Colorado vacation
This way I can easily find some big events I may be looking for.
So. . .
My second hard drive is set up exactly the same way.
To copy the files from one to another. . .I just drag and drop that month into the correct year folder.
So if I am copying March 2011 folder to the other hard drive. . .I will just drag March to the year 2011. It will ask if I want to replace files. . .I say yes. Now I know all of the pictures are on both hard drives.
SOMETHING I NEED TO IMPROVE ON. . .
So I am prepared if one hard drive crashes.
But what about a fire? Tornado?
Now, I should take one of the hard drives and put it at my parent's house or in a safety deposit box.
It's bothering me that I don't have it somewhere else.
But that doesn't sound like a time saver to me.
One idea would be to switch them out yearly.
I would need another hard drive for that.
Once every year, swap the hard drives out.
If you did have a major catastrophe, you would only lose a year's worth of photos. Better than everything.
Another idea would be to use an online photo storage system.
I've heard Drop box is a great choice, but unfortunately our internet is the pits, so this isn't a great option for us.
I do use Snapfish now to print a lot of my photos.
What I like about Snapfish is they will also store my photos and I can share them with family and friends.
The downside, is I don't always love the way their photos look.
I've been using Mpix for some special photos and I love them.
And I have also heard of websites that will allow you to upload/store/share your photos and I will be looking into that as well.
The last thing I am going to say today about this topic is this. . . I am completely in love with the new digital age of photography. I love that I can take as many pictures as I want and store them on these devices.
But, I don't exactly trust all of that digital information either.
I believe it is important to have a hard copy of your favorite photos as well!
SO, remember. . .you can use Studio J as a fast way to get layouts done OR for photo printing! I am working on getting many 3x4 pictures printed. . .which is perfect for Picture My Life Scrapbooking! Fast, easy, done! And during the month of March these prints are on sale! $5 for all you can fit onto two 12x12 pages!
Stay tuned. . .